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Reboots: Grading the 3 Most Iconic Slashers (MYERS, JASON and FREDDY)

There’s no mistaking the fact that the term “slasher” is immediately fixed to three insanely iconic visages of terror: Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger.

nce the late seventies the slasher has steadily gained popularity, and as fans of the now well defined sub-genre, we owe a lot of that success to Mike, Jason and Freddy, who brought this cheap-thrill (let’s be real with ourselves) take on terror to profound extremes. They slashed, decapitated, burnt and chopped their way into our hearts for decades, and for that, we love them.

Having bowed before the brilliance of all three of these masked monstroties as a younger gent, accepting modern remakes was initially a bit challenging. Why fix it if it isn’t broken, right?

Now a year distanced from the release of A Nightmare on Elm Street, two years distanced from Friday the 13th and four years from Rob Zombies initial Halloween reboot, I’m fairly happy with this new spin on old fear.

None of the films are perfect, don’t get me wrong. I won’t t back and tell you they’re all better than the original’s. I won’t declare the genuine rebirth of a trio of clasc cut-em-ups. I’ll mply tell you that, with an open mind, you’re actually likely to enjoy at least one of these three current reboots (that’s just a nice way of saying ‘remake that we tweaked the hell out of’).

Having just revited these fresh installments, I’m almost surpring myself with the ratings I’m about to deliver, but I’ll do my best to justify my choices, so still with me here.

Halloween (2007)

Rob Zombie’s take on the Michael Myers mythos initially caught me off guard. In retrospect I believe it’s the pacing of the film, which feels like two pictures pushed together, but, I’ve actually still grown to really enjoy this new take on Halloween.

There are problems galore (such as the pacing, as I just mentioned), including some awkward casting choices. Why cast a 30 year old Danielle Harris as a schoolmate of the 17 year old Scout Taylor Compton? I love the nod to past installments, but couldn’t we have cast Danielle in a different role? She looked like the girl I want to flirt with; Scout looked like the girl I’d have to babyt: big no-no for me personally.

However, I can move beyond that: Danielle is a goddess, and in the end, I’m in for watching regardless of the scenario.

And in truth, those are actually my two focal complaints. The rest of the film was enjoyable. There are even a few moments in which the cinematography is genuinely reminiscent of some key scenes in John Carpenter’s original work, which hit home big for me.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween was a fun ride that unfortunately earned a very suspect sequel.

Grade: B-

Friday the 13th (2009)

I really don’t care what anyone says about this fresh spin on the terrifying tale of Jason Voorhees. If you want to know why, I’ll tell you: it kicked royal ass, that’s why.

First, the decion to compile the first four films into one coheve piece was genius. It eliminated any potential lull in the action, it introduced the hockey mask wearing

psycho in quick fashion, provided enjoyable kills, and felt… fresh.

There were some awesome additions made to the story, and while some weren’t crazy about the ster’s captivity, or the pot-seeking trip that ignited the entire ordeal, but I Personally viewed these story embellishments interesting, and not out of the league of posbility. I mean look, we’ve got a few new twists, but Jason’s still hacking up youngsters for the same reason, and isn’t that why we tune in?

Perhaps one of the underappreciated points of the picture is the fact that Friday’s acting is quite impresve. Jared Padalecki, Danielle Panabaker, Travis Van Winkle and Aaron Yoo’s performances are all believable. The characters may be painted cliché as they come, but believe me, they’re believable.

Respect to Marcus Nispel: As crazy as it sounds, I prefer this remake to the original!

Grade: A-

A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)

Here’s where things become a bit questionable.

Samuel Bayer’s reimagining of one of the most terrifying onscreen monsters is unnerving, truly frightening, and awkward and disjointed multaneously.

The potives to this film come in the form of Jackie Earle Haley’s portrayal of Krueger, the incredible make-up job (which looks far closer to an actual burn victim than the make-up FX of the original) on display and some cool intriguing plot interjections such as the micro nap theory.

The problem with the picture however, lies in a lack of identity. Who is who? Who are we cheering for? Who is the heroine, who is the hero? Due to miserable pacing issues early on, it takes a while to assemble the pieces.

We spend a third of the film following Kris, and just as we’re beginning to believe that Kris is actually our new female lead, she’s well… disposed of. Enter Nancy. what most figured would be our primary female lead from the beginning. But, it’s difficult to become too attached to Nancy, because at this point, there’s insufficient time to truly develop her character.

It’s an obdurate setup that prevents ANOES from reaching the heights it so ealy could have. When you’ve got a guy as creepy as Haley behind the infamous Krueger make-up, let the story flow naturally. You’ll scare the crap out of us, believe me.

Grade: C+
Matt_Molgaard Tuesday 7/12/2011 at 06:00 AM | 78312
Great article, you've really been busting out some great ones lately man!
HorrorDaily Tuesday 7/12/2011 at 06:17 AM | 78314
much appreciated my friend! LOTS more to come every month!
Matt_Molgaard Tuesday 7/12/2011 at 06:29 AM | 78316
Awesome Article

My favorite out of the three is Halloween I really like rob zombies trashy take on it.Friday is good but like you said some weren't crazy about the sters captivity. I am one of those people. It didn't ruin it for me but it defiantly bumped it down a grade. It just didn't feel like Jason.

Now as for A Nightmare On Elm Street remake i absolutely hate it I feel they messed with Freddy to much and I really didn't like Rooney Mara as Nancy. I think Jackie Earle Haley’s performance as Freddy was probably the best posble but he still wasn't Freddy. For me the only Freddy is Robert Englund
DoubleshotJ Tuesday 7/12/2011 at 08:32 AM | 78321
rooney just kind of got lost in the flick....
Matt_Molgaard Tuesday 7/12/2011 at 08:34 AM | 78322
I loved the Friday the 13th remake, it is probably one of my favorite slasher movies ever, just behind the original Halloween, original TCM, and original Nightmare... The Nightmare remake was pretty good, I think that Haley was awesome as Freddy, he was seriously creepy, and the makeup was awesome. I just wish that they had kept the blood coming out of the bed, and had not used as much CGI as they did... The Halloween remake, in my opinion was awful. It was a little better than some of the original sequels (5, 6, Resurrection, etc.) but compared to the first two, it doesn't come close. Also, why didn't you count Texas Chainsaw? The original came before even Halloween, and is a true clasc slasher film.

Kidtut Tuesday 7/12/2011 at 03:23 PM | 78332
I didn't include TCSM because, while you're right in its predating these films, Leatherface (while iconic) didn't quite reach the immense popularity of these three.

Thanks for checkin it out btw!
Matt_Molgaard Tuesday 7/12/2011 at 03:34 PM | 78334
I totally agree with your ratings!!! I also think out of the 3, F13 was the best, and that's coming from a MM fan!!! :O It just felt more like his style movie while the Halloween just didn't. And ANOES, please, I just didn't seem any of that creepy or "making Freddy dark again" it was just a little dumb and didn't fit IMO. F13 Was also the only movie I jumped in at least once l0l. Very good article and to tell you the truth I did kind of enjoy all 3 of these, in the theaters anyway because I don't own the ANOES remake, because the Blu-ray/Dvd combo pack was kinda over-priced IMO.
Tobyisoctopus Thursday 7/14/2011 at 04:41 PM | 78642